ST AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- It's the oldest city in the nation, but St. Augustine could soon help lead the state into using cheaper and cleaner fuel on our roads. "It's always something of interest of us when you can reduce costs," said St John County Schools Transportation Director, Joe Purvis.
Tallahassee will be the first city in Florida to get a natural gas station. And all of the school busses in their school district will be powered by it. "We are monitoring this as well as other alternatives out there," said Purvis.
The company supplying the natural gas says they could build stations in 18 other cities including Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Gainesville. Natural gas is about 25-percent cheaper and 33-percent cleaner than diesel.
But with a growing school district like St. Johns County, Purvis says this may not be an option.
"Our focus in capitol is on having enough buildings, classrooms and school busses," he said.
Right now St Johns transports around 19,000 children, but that number has been growing by around 450 children each year.
"When you go to an alternative fuel bus, it is more expensive. So there is a trade-off there of saving some operating money. But if the cost is high enough, it reduces the number of buses you can buy," said Purvis.
By the end of the year there will be around 123,600 vehicles on our roads powered by natural gas.